Monday, July 6, 2015

Babies Are to LOVE


Everyone must figure out their own parenting style. Most of us around here practice some version of Attachment Parenting - always with some adjustments to fit our own families' needs.

Today as I was preparing to write something specifically about breastfeeding, I came upon this section of La Leche League's The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and it summed up exactly what I personally needed to hear, so I decided to share it with all of you as well.

I hope you enjoy:

Through doubts and anxious moments, remember - babies are to love. The task of caring for your new baby will not seem nearly so awesome if you keep this thought in mind. "Tender loving care" is what the very best authorities recognize as the prime need of babies. Look to your own baby. Is he happiest when snuggled close to you, nursing very often, perhaps even every hour? Or does he respond best when laid down after a nursing and patted to sleep? Your baby's well-being, comfort, and security are your guides.

There is a beautiful simplicity about the care of the young baby that does not apply at any other stage of childrearing. With sureness we can say that a baby's wants are a baby's needs. The wants of a two- or three-year-old, however, may not always be what he needs. Parents will not respond any less lovingly then, but their approach will adjust to the changing world of the mobile child.

Mary Ann Cahill, one of La Leche League's co-Founders, talks about the needs of a newborn:
From living in the womb with the umbilical cord supplying all his needs, he has progressed to a position outside of, but near, mother's body. He is meant to be within close proximity of her warm breast and the sound of her voice. It is nature's careful way of providing a transition from the infant's old world to his new one. The little newcomer has the freedom needed to grow, yet is assured of continuous, loving support. The all-important mother-child bond replaces the umbilical cord.
With your newborn, "giving in" to him is good parenting. Feed him according to his own time schedule. Comfort him when he is upset. But you may ask, won't such permissiveness spoil the baby? This question is asked by many parents who are sincerely concerned about their children and want to do what is best.

A mother, grandmother, and La Leche League Leader, Marion Blackshear, had this to say on the matter of spoiling and babies. "When you think of a piece of fruit as spoiled, you think of it as bruised, left on the shelf to rot, handled roughly, neglected. But meeting needs, giving lots of loving care, handling gently, is not spoiling. I could carry this one step further and say that a piece of fruit is at its best when left to ripen on the tree, its source of nourishment - and baby is at his best when held close to his source of physical and emotional nourishment - his mother."

And others agree. Dr William Sears, pediatrician and author of numerous child care books says, "Spoiling is a word that should be forever stricken from parenting books...Babies do not get spoiled by being held. Babies 'spoil' when they are not held."

And in his classic book, How to Really Love Your Child, Dr Ross Campbell explains:
We cannot start too early in giving a child continuous, warm, consistent affection. He simply must have this unconditional love to cope most effectively in today's world.

So.....love those babies! Nurse those babies! Nurture those babies!

They are only so tiny once. And don't worry - you have a village here to help you through anything that may come up! Join us every Wednesday at 1:00 pm for Milk Monologues (except for THIS Wednesday, 7/8/15), and every second Thursday (that's this Thursday!) at 6:30 pm for Evening Milk Monologues. Remember - we are here for you!

~Evie

Friday, July 3, 2015

Super Awesome Deals!

Check out all the awesome things we have going on this weekend and in the coming week!

From Elegant Mommy to you: We hope you have a fantastic and safe July 4th celebration!




Happy Independence Weekend!

~Evie

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Those Offensive Boobs!


If you have been a reader or a customer or a friend for any amount of time, you know we are mad supporters of breastfeeding here at Elegant Mommy.

You also know how I feel about breastfeeding in public - even so much that I worked with SD Birth Matters and the SD Breastfeeding Coalition to get legislation passed in South Dakota to protect breastfeeding moms. The legislation states that moms can nurse their babies anywhere they are otherwise authorized to be. And guess what - the law goes into effect TOMORROW - woot!!

So, in honor of the protection now offered nursing babies and mamas in South Dakota, I thought I'd share this lovely and pretty awesome video on breastfeeding in public.....



Because....BOOBS!

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I mean - for real - her facial expressions!

Remember - you certainly don't want to offend anyone, so definitely DON'T nourish your baby where others can see - ha!

I love sarcasm.

~Evie

Monday, June 29, 2015

Life, Family, Change...


Life brings us many changes over the years. Our hearts change and many times become more clear as to the path that is laid out for us. Many times those paths leave us with hard choices and rocky roads to navigate. Those roads are rocky many times because we have to consider more than just ourselves. God calls us to put Him first, then our family, then ourselves. We have to reflect and pray over our decisions to make sure that they are keeping those priorities straight.

When Corey and I first got married, I had no intention of having children. I felt very strongly about foster care and adoption and felt that was what we would do. However, Corey felt very strongly about having biological children. We had no problems getting pregnant and so we began our family in May 2004 when our son was born. At this time I was working at a large bank in the collections area and my goal was to work my way up the corporate chain. I wanted to be in financial planning and when I was passed over for a job in that department only because I didn’t have my master’s degree, I quickly enrolled to get my masters degree so I could someday have that job. We had another child, our daughter, while I was still working in collections and finishing that masters degree. I had no qualms about sending our children to childcare so I could work full-time. This is what was right for our family at the time. A few years later, I got an amazing promotion and worked for a different department doing a job that was AMAZING. About a year after I got this wonderful dream job, we found out we were expecting again. My work family was very supportive and allowed me much flexibility throughout the pregnancy and leave. When it was time to return to work, my heart had changed. I kept feeling a VERY strong hand on my heart that *I* needed to be raising our children. The words kept playing through my mind that God had blessed us with these children and I needed to be the one to raise them. I did go back to work but it just didn’t feel right. Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVED my job. I loved my boss. I loved my co-workers. But there was another problem that continued to lay heavily on my heart. During the summer of 2007, I got a “crazy hair” to start a website dedicated to buying and selling pre-owned maternity clothes. The website was just a fun way for me to do something different and meet a little need that I kept becoming more aware of. But now it was the summer of 2008 and I had 3 children and a business.

Wait, what?! I had a business?! I never intended to have a business. MY plans just a few years before were for me to foster kids and possibly adopt 1 or 2 and still keep working my way up the corporate ladder. I mean *I* had a plan. Where in the world did the hard pressing corporate woman go? When did I go “soft”? These thoughts rolled through my head a lot. I was trying to juggle it all…MY plans and the plans that I just kept feeling GOD was calling me to do. I was still working full time (at a job I loved remember), run a physical store and a website and have 3 kids under 5 years of age.

Something had to give. I cried a lot. That was the hardest year of our marriage up to that point. It was hard because no one had the same vision that I did. I now know that is not a bad thing, God didn’t lay these plans on anyone's heart but mine. It was only me that needed to be obedient to Him. So we decided that we would take the leap and leave my cushy income behind and pursue Elegant Mommy full-time – but more importantly *I* would raise our children.

2014-2015 has made 2008 look like a walk in the park. Our lives have been shaken up in so many ways. It has been VERY hard to try to remain positive. I know that I need an attitude adjustment most days. It is HARD to keep life’s balance. It is hard to remember that I have 4 amazing children that God blessed us with. He has also blessed me with an amazing and supportive Husband, who I don’t dedicate enough time to. He has also blessed and burdened us with doing everything we can to make Elegant Mommy and Educated Mommy a community resource for our area. I’m writing this post as a reminder to myself about where my priorities need to lay. God and the path that He has laid out needs to be first priority in my life. Then my family and then myself. It is a daily struggle to look at situations and decisions and decide if it is God’s path or if it’s my path.

Why am I writing this publicly on our blog? Because I know that I am not the only Mom struggling with this. I am just another Mom trying to do what God called me to do. It may not be what God called you for, in fact, I know it is not exactly what God called you for. He called you for your own unique path. Follow that path and do not pay attention to what other people on this Earth want you to do . YOU know what you have been called to do. No one else has to understand, but you need to be obedient to what God desires for you.

God blessed us with another amazing blessing in late 2014 and she has ROCKED OUR WORLD. I can’t even describe all of the ways that she has rocked our world. I was content with the place that we were at in our lives. I was able to keep up with the pace and lifestyle that we had created. But that is about to change.

We are finally moving back to Sioux Falls. Moving back to Sioux Falls will be an enormous change for our family. Corey and I built our house in Hartford 13 years ago. In fact, this week will mark 13 years since we signed on the dotted line to own this home that we put so much of our blood, sweat and tears into. We brought 4 kiddos into this world while we lived here. We had some pretty amazing screaming matches in this house. We had some pretty amazing laugh til you cry sessions in this house. We’ve lived off of a VERY tight budget for 7 years so that we could stay in a house that was WAY above our new income level. We now are all at place of acceptance that we need to be in a different home for many reasons: Our life is in Sioux Falls and being apart as a family for 12+ hours per day is not a good long-term decision for our family, our income level will never be back where it was when I worked for that big bank and we need to adjust our living level to better fit our income level, and we want to live out our family’s path. The path for our family includes being debt free. We have a dream to be debt free. When we close on this home, we will be completely debt free (except for Elegant Mommy – but that will be debt free at some point too!). We are going to stay debt free for a little bit and we are going to rent. There are many people who look at us as a middle aged self-employed couple with 4 kids and see we are going to rent and their thoughts are probably not positive. But renting for our family for a few years is a VERY positive thing. You see if we find the right place to rent or lease to purchase for a few years, we will be able to save up a LARGE chunk of change to put a 20-25% down payment on the home that is perfect for our family. Those years will also give us the time to find that perfect home for our family.

This is where our family’s path is at right now. And it is the perfect path for us.

~Shelly

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Register At Elegant Mommy!


Did you know that Elegant Mommy has a Registry program?

Well, now you do! :)

Not only do we offer one, but it's super simple to use. If you are expecting and would like to register with us, just head over to our website (www.ElegantMommy.com), click on "Gift Registry" in the sidebar menu and follow the instructions to get registered with us!

When someone comes in to get you something from your list, you earn money on your Rewards Card and you will also get 5% gift card when you close your registry with us!

We encourage you to register with us for several reasons:

  1. Support a Local Small Business! Did you know that by purchasing from locally owned businesses, something like 3 times as much of your money STAYS local, going back to the community, than when you purchase from a national corporation? Elegant Mommy is always looking for new ways to give back to the community, and we will continue to do so. We have been blessed and want to pay it forward!
  2. Convenience. People who are purchasing from your registry can select and buy their merchandise either on our website (they just need to go to the same link you did to register) OR in the store. We even have super-awesome staff that will help them get exactly what you want!
  3. Continuing Service! Speaking of super-awesome staff, that's what we have! Elegant Mommy takes pride in hiring only the best, most caring, knowledgeable, and helpful staff around! When you make purchases from us (or have someone else make them on your behalf), you get that wonderful down-home service you have come to expect from us. We are here for you, even after the purchase has been made and you've begun using our products. If you need help, just stop on in or give us a call - we are here for you!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Thank You Daddies!

In case you haven't seen this video before you need to watch the whole thing in it's entirety. (I did post it last year about this time, but it's so good I decided I had to post it again)

For those dads who are there for their kids, who partner with moms to be the best parents they can be, who do what it takes to show their children what a good man is and does for his family, this is for you.

You are loved and you are appreciated. Thank you for all you do, and we here at Elegant Mommy wish you a very happy and wonderful Father's Day this weekend!



~Evie

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

For Father's Day

Here at Elegant Mommy we not only love our Mommies (it is part of our name, after all), but we are so grateful for the daddies in our lives!

Because of that, we are offering a pretty great deal on gifts for dads - check it out!

If you want to join us in loving on the great dads in our lives and our kids' lives, take advantage and get them something awesome this Father's Day (it's this coming Sunday - don't forget!)!